Trooper Clarence is 20lb lower than when last successful in 2011 but good runs have been few and far between in recent years and he returns from an absence here. So does Rime Avec Gentil, who would have preferred faster ground though is unexposed over fences. FUSE WIRE had no chances against Mr Mole at Newton Abbot on his debut over fences but jumped well in the main and guaranteed fitness and a comparatively low weight must count for something in this so he gets the nod.
Trooper Clarence 50-1 (11-6) Held up in mid-division, headway approaching 11th, lost place 4 out, last of 8, 23l behind Rockchasebullett (10-6) at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Rime Avec Gentil (FR) 3-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 8th until 4 out, no impression next, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 6, 27l behind Catch Tammy (11-7) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Sep.
Fuse Wire 6-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, went 3rd from 7th, blundered 3 out, blundered 2 out, no impression, 3rd of 5, 13l behind Mr Mole (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f nov chs (3) gd in Apr.